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New Play Reveals the Untold Story of Margot Frank

“Her Story” by Kendra Phillips, a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Idaho, is a dramatic memory play honoring untold stories.

Discovering New Stories

Premiering January 29, 2021, as part of the Department of Theatre Arts “First Bite” new play series, the staged reading, reveals the untold story of Margot Frank. Born on February 16, 1926, Margot was the elder sister of Anne Frank, arguably the most famous Holocaust victim. While Anne Frank’s story is well known, her sister’s life is more obscure. “Her Sister” recounts the last few years of Margot Frank's life in a nonlinear order. At its core, “Her Sister” honors people whose stories were never told. It strives to shed light on people who didn’t leave journals, written records or letters telling their stories. It grapples with the idea of how we define ourselves, what individualizes us, and when everything is taken away, how we want to be remembered.

New Play Series

"Her Story" is the second production in the new play development series, First Bite, an initiative presenting plays written by U of I students. These scripts receive development support in the form of staged readings, workshops, and premiere productions. "Her Story" is directed by Jennifer Hughes, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in directing at U of I. The cast features Taylor Telford, Zach Haas, Lauren Welch, Emma Blonda, Victoria Zenner and Emily Nunes, and stage manager Blaze Bernal, all students in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Playwright Phillips, from Renton, Washington, was inspired to write the play after being cast as Margot in a production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.

“The more I learned about Margot, the more I became frustrated that she has been essentially lost to history, even though her sister is arguably the Holocaust’s most famous victim,” Phillips said.

“On the surface, there wasn't a lot to find on her. She is remembered as smart, obedient, pretty, and quiet. But digging deeper, there is so much more to this young woman,” Phillips said.

Margot's diary plays a huge part in the play, Phillips said. "It was the thing that made me finally decide I needed to write this play — a desire to find out what she wrote in her diary that is lost to history. That ate at me for 10 years until I finally started writing the script."

Telling Untold Stories

As the saying goes “we have to learn our history to not repeat it.” While the staggering number of lives lost in atrocities can be overwhelming, “we have the responsibility to ensure these people do not disappear into the statistics,” Phillips said.

Article by Princess Kannah, BFA candidate in Performance
Department of Theatre Arts
Published January 2021

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